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Skiing Champion, Lindsey Vonn Asks to Compete With Men

Should Skiing Champion Lindsey Vonn Be Allowed to Compete Against the Men?

Olympic downhill skiing champion, Lindsey Vonn has sent a formal request to the International Ski Federation (FIS) seeking permission to compete in a men’s DH ski race in Canada later this year. The quadruple world cup winner announced that she had written to the Director of Men’s Races, Gunter Hujara, to explore the possibility of taking part in the men’s downhill race at Lake Louise in Alberta, which will be the first stage of the ski season’s speed events.

Lindsey Vonn, Skiing Champion:

One of the world's best ever female downhill skiing champions, Lindsey Vonn, poses with yet another trophy. The legend of snow sports has formally requested the opportunity to compete with the men at the next world championships in Canada.

Speaking at the FIS annual meeting, Atle Skaardal, the Women’s World Cup race director, explained that Vonn’s request was currently being considered and that no decision had been reached yet. The international skiing chief insisted that the final outcome would be determined according to FIS rules, but would also take into consideration the benefits of allowing Vonn to compete alongside the men.

Lindsey Vonn has explained that her request to compete alongside the elite men is bourn out of desire to see women’s alpine skiing revitalised. The 27-year-old skiing champion has won an astonishing 53 World Cup skiing events. The American Olympian from Minnesota is undeniably one of the most successful downhill skiers of all time, occupying a place amongst the greats of sporting history.

The question of whether Lindsey Vonn should be allowed to compete alongside the men at this season’s DH speed races raises a wider question of the divisions between male and female competitors at an elite level in sport. Wrongly, male competitors in most sports receive more media attention than their female counterparts. The net result is that the rewards of reaching the top of any sport for a man are often considerably higher than the those enjoyed by female competitors.

The preferencing of male competitors comes irrespective of the fact that many elite sportswomen are more than capable of equalling or exceeding the work of their male counterparts. By allowing top-level women athletes to compete alongside elite men, a spotlight would be shone on the achievements of female competitors, which would potentially permanently alter the misconception that men’s sports are inherently more worthwhile.

Credits

Photo: US Ski Team - Flickr Creative Commons – (cc-by-2.0)

Words: Al Cuin

Tags: Lindsey Vonn, Skiing

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